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Seepage

April 13th, 2018 Leave a comment Go to comments

Leonard’s fingers rested on the handle, waiting for the tank to refill. As if this first date hadn’t been stressful enough, of course the restaurant’s toilet had to get clogged. The water ceased. It appeared there would be enough room for one more tankful in the bowl, and Leonard had experienced this before, where seemingly the weight of a bowlful of water was enough to push the clog through. This was the only restroom in the restaurant, so it struck him as worth trying, rather than drawing undue attention to himself by having to go request a plunger. He flushed again.

There was not enough room in the bowl. Fecal water began overflowing its walls, spilling onto the floor and spreading across the tiles. Leonard leapt from the stall to avoid getting his shoes wet, quickly washed his hands and hurried for the door. The water was still gushing from the stall when he turned for a last look, though it now sounded as if arm connected to the handle and the tank float were stuck, because there was no sign of the water stopping. Panicked, Leonard rushed from the room and shut the door behind him just as the water was nearing the frame. In his haste, he accidentally locked the door as well.

Assuring himself everything would be fine, he returned to his table, where his date was just finishing her glass of wine. She smiled slightly at him, oblivious to the growing problem across the dining room. Leonard returned her smirk as best he could and made quick work of his wine glass, noting the water had now escaped the bathroom and was rushing from beneath the door. He did his best to signal to the waiter for the check without frantic gestures, even as he witnessed the brown water reaching the first of the tables. A busboy stepped into the surf just as their server whisked Leonard’s credit card away.

Noting his damp shoe and then the cause behind it, the busboy rushed back to the kitchen as Leonard’s nerves quaked. His date made a lighthearted comment he barely noticed as he willed the check back to the table and the seepage encroached upon four more tables. Patrons were starting to notice. A manager and the busboy scrambled back in and began fighting with the locked door. Another waiter entered, examined the spreading ocean, and promptly fled. Finally the check arrived, just as their waiter began to comprehend the commotion as well.

Leonard signed the receipt and stood to go, motioning for his date to follow while being as polite as he could. The water had nearly reached her purse that had been on the floor when she retrieved it. She noticed nothing. Heart racing, Leonard guided them to the exit as smoothly as he could, putting his arm around her with affection and hopes that she wouldn’t turn around to the pandemonium that was beginning now that the entire dining area was aware of the gushing fecal water problem. They walked to the car and she was never the wiser. The headlines the next day would call it a “sewage tsunami.”

Regardless, they never saw one another again. She joined the Peace Corps and you stopped reading.

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